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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 10, 2008

Ethics

Michael Wreen
Pages 453-457

Three Related Objections to Relativism

The most frequent charges brought against moral relativism are probably that it is inconsistent, that it has morally repugnant implications, and that it leads to amoralism, or the breakdown of morality altogether. A less frequent but still common objection is more conceptual in nature: relativism cannot make any sense of a certain species of comparative moral judgment, namely those that morally compare two moral codes. The general form of this kind of judgment is: ‘Moral code A is morally superior to moral code B.’ Stace lodges this objection, and others have as well. Is it cogent? Using Stace as a springboard for discussion, I critically examine three related arguments against relativism that claim that comparative judgments of the sort in question are impossible on relativism.

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